“I never dreamed that I’d spend so much time talking about bowel movements!”
My name is Sid Chapnick; I am a stage 2 rectal cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in 2007 and undergoing chemotherapy (xeloda) and radiation treatment.
I’d like to invite you to attend the 5th Annual Kick Butt Walk or Run for Colorectal Cancer and also say how thrilled I am to be invited to tell you a bit about my back-story.
The story began nearly 5 years ago at my first CancerCare Manitoba support group meeting. Kick Butt was born when I happened to mention that I had been a runner since before the first Manitoba Marathon was run in 1979 and I ran 3 half- marathons in 2006. I casually commented that I had never heard of a walk or run for colorectal cancer and I wanted to organize a run to help raise awareness about the disease.
My first co-chair the late Kai Arnot was quite a Pistol; she was the kind of woman you couldn’t say not to! As soon as I walked into that first meeting at CancerCare she handed me a Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada folder as well as a blue colorectal cancer pin, then in her take-charge manner she phoned me up the next day to say she would help me organize the run. That first run surprised us with 200 participants donating $25,000 to CCAC for use in Manitoba.
Don Hutton was another go-getter who worked hard as both my co-chair and Sponsorship chair. Don devoted his battle with cancer to advocating for funding of Avastin and volunteering as a Cancer Coach with CCAC. With him as co-chair we had over 300 participants and raised just under $50,000.
Before I do anything else, I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce you to our spokesperson for the run, and what we are trying to get across as the face of colon cancer, Lara-Lea Avery her husband Dale and son Riley. Lara-Lea was diagnosed when she was 29 years old. As she says – She wants to get the message heard that “This disease can happen to anyone at any age”
Of course, I read everything about colorectal cancer that I can get my hands on. Research tells me that Vitamin D and a baby aspirin a day can help prevent re- occurrence of colon cancer so I’m popping my daily helping of vitamins. Another study came out (when I was on my soup diet the month before my first surgery) that stated that following an eastern diet could help prevent stage III metastatic colon cancer from reoccurring and I’ve been following an almost no red meat diet since the day it was published.
Volunteering as a Cancer Coach for CCAC and trying to raise awareness in Manitoba about this dreadful disease takes up most of my time these days. I never dreamed that I’d spend so much time talking about bowel movements! I now know a great deal about colostomies, hemorrhoids flatulence and constipation. Added to that – to counterbalance this list are an equal number of conversations about early detection for colorectal cancer, making each day matter and the future.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my story with you today.